The Kindle DX Test at Princeton

May 13th, 2009

Princeton University has created a website to set forth the rationale for exploring eReading devices (specifically the Kindle DX). The whole site (not large) is worth exploring. But one fascinating statement emerges:

A driving factor in the launch of this pilot was the patterns of printing on campus. Statistics show that students are not reading digital articles and book selections on their computer screens, but rather downloading the same files again and again, and printing them multiple times in the course of a semester. Reasons cited for this are the fact that it is difficult to read a complex article on a computer screen, that files are printed whenever students have the opportunity to read them, and that hard copies are easier to highlight and annotate for study purposes. Even when hard copies of reserve readings are provided, students prefer to photocopy them, rather than read the originals in the Library.

With an e-reader, one can easily carry a year’s worth or more of course readings in a lightweight device, can search for content, and can annotate, bookmark, or highlight readings. The e-reader pilot at Princeton seeks to target the types of readings that are most downloaded, printed, photocopied at Princeton—which is to say the electronic and print reserve materials required for many courses—and deliver them by means of an e-reader instead.

Check it out.